TRI-CITIES, Wash. — On the ground in the Tri-Cities as of Wednesday we’ve got three layers of snowfall. Plus, a layer of ice from the freezing rain we got last night. According to The National Weather Service, we're expected to see another two to four inches tomorrow in addition to more freezing rain.
“Ice is a completely different beast,” said Summer Derry with The Washington State Department of Transportation.
State troopers, police, and WASHDOT have been staying busy to keep the community safe.
“It's been a big burden on us as far as man power,” said Trooper Thorson with Washington State Patrol.
WSP has had troopers stay for extended shifts to account for the need in the Tri-Cities.
“We're trying to get everybody help as fast as we can when they get into emergency situations,” Trooper Thorson said.
They say the number of crashes in the Tri-Cities has significantly decreased over the past few days.
“It appears on this Wednesday morning that people are actually doing pretty good out on the highway,” said Trooper Thorson.
But they say drivers can be doing even more to keep themselves safe.
“If you're driving 30 to 40 miles an hour versus 70 it really makes a big difference,” Trooper Thorson said.
The Department of Transportation says they're struggling with resources on the west side of the state. But here on the east, they say they're ready for this next round.
“Around this time of year that is certainly our job to patrol the highways 24/7 to foresee trouble spots and things like that,” said Derry.
WSDOT says they're switching up their method of keeping the highways clear. They say sand is better at fighting the ice in colder temps than salt.
“Ice is certainly the concern and ice is a little bit harder to drive in,” said Derry.
Folks all over the Tri-Cities are just trying to make it through.
“Trying to stay inside and off the roads more than anything,” said Omar Ortego.
“It's still a little bit slippery with four-wheel drive you have to take it kind of slow,” said Tristan Curtis.